Surrogates for Ed and Emily; a young couple at Niagara Falls in Jan. 2010.
About a week ago I went to breakfast at a local restaurant and was seated near a group of six young women. They were enjoying themselves: laughing and trading racy stories.
They worked together and talked about that—and about “hooking up.” The hook up culture is new to me, so I decided to listen. Never too old to learn, I thought. I settled into my booth, ordered pancakes and tuned my left ear to the women.Continue reading →
Christmas is a time of giving, and almost everyone participates. We gift large and small to one another, especially to family; at the very least we offer each other good cheer, Merry Christmas, or happy holidays. It’s a season of intended joy and sharing. Continue reading →
John had both hands on the wheel as he drove uphill around a curve. Iris was sitting beside him and, as was her wont, had managed to release her seat belt some miles back. Without warning she opened her car door and plunged out into the dark night. John was frantic. He stopped the car and ran out looking for his wife of over 40 years.
Grandparents usually adore grandchildren. The old idea—that grandchildren are wonderful because we enjoy them, spoil them, then send them home to their parents—is surely true, yet the appreciation of grandchildren goes beyond that. Continue reading →
I met a woman yesterday, yet I feel I’ve known her most of my life. Brigid never left her home area of Glenmore, Ireland and I’ve never been there. We met through William Trevor, her creator, in his short story, The Dancing-Master’s Music.
Trevor’s characters reveal themselves in traits so vivid yet common that we’re forced to compare them with people we know. ‘This guy is just like Pete from work,’ we might think. Or we may feel that we want to meet and talk with them. His people seduce us into their lives.
In the last two posts I’ve described the relatively new teaching in the Catholic catechism that God is lasting truth and love. Yet truth strikes me as getting skimpy treatment in much of our lives, including at church. People often say, “God is love,” but I seldom hear, “God is truth.” So I am on the lookout for truth. Continue reading →
Last week I introduced the most recent Catechism of the Catholic Church and pointed out the “definition” of God as being everlasting truth and love. A God of truth and love is nothing like the hard-nosed punisher-God of my youth, so I looked into the history of Catholic notions of God.
Vatican II (the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church, held in four sessions between 1962 and 1965) marks the beginning of a new understanding of God. For hundreds of years before Vatican II, an old God of power and mystery dominated Catholic teaching. Then in the decades after Vatican II, God emerged gradually as a warmer, more reachable deity, coming into an integrated theology in the 1994 catechism. The change is important and as best I can tell, largely underappreciated. Continue reading →
People often grow more spiritual as they move through later life, and especially for men, that growth can be halting, timid, and incomplete.
People enter Twelve-Step programs to rid themselves of addictions, and central to the method is acknowledgement of a “higher power,” which may be God for the religious, but may be something else, something people choose or define for themselves. Continue reading →